§ 39. Mr. JAMES O'KELLY
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether his attention has been called to the necessity of taking steps to put a stop to the spread of foot-and-mouth disease west of the Shannon, and pointing out the advisability of appointing a sentry on the different bridges to prevent the entrance of stock into the province of Connaught, and that railway companies be instructed not to book cattle to any railway station west of the Shannon; and whether he proposes to take any, and, if any, what, action in the matter?
§ Mr. T. W. RUSSELL (Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture, Ireland)
Representations to the effect indicated in this question have been received. Stringent precautions have been taken by the Department with the object of preventing foot-and-mouth disease spreading from affected to unaffected parts of Ireland. Extensive districts, from which no movement of ruminant animals or swine is allowed, have been scheduled around the places of outbreak. In addition an Order has been issued similarly prohibiting animal movements from southward to northward of a defined line running from the coast near Drogheda on the east to Oranmore Bay, county Galway, on the west. The railway companies are duly observing this prohibition. By far the greater part of Connaught lies to the north of this line, which crosses the Shannon at Athlone. For the present these precautions are deemed sufficient. There has been no appearance of the disease in Connaught.
§ Mr. HAYDEN
Why should any portion of Connaught be in the scheduled area seeing that, there is no disease near the place at all?
§ Mr. RUSSELL
All I can say about that is that a line has to be drawn somewhere. Those who are on the wrong side of the line of course complain, but it has been very carefully drawn with a view to the whole of the facts of the situation. I think I can assure him that the moment the Department sees that it is possible to make an alteration, it will be done.
40. MARQUESS of TULLIBARDINE
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether, seeing that there is no foot-and-mouth disease in Scotland and seeing that sheep 1015 are admitted from Scotland, he will admit pedigree bulls, under strict regulations, into Ireland from Scotland?
§ Mr. RUSSELL
The Department have had under consideration from time to time lately the question of allowing the importation of pedigree stock from Scotland to be resumed. They hope to see their way to allow such importations, subject to suitable conditions, in the course of the present week, provided there is no unfavourable change in the position of Scotland in regard to foot-and-mouth disease meantime.
41. Mr. KELLY
asked whether the Report of the Interdepartmental inquiry into the causes of the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease at Birkenhead will be circulated; whether it points to the fact that the disease did not originate in Ireland or from Irish cattle; and what steps are being taken consequent on the Report?
§ Mr. RUSSELL
The Department is having the Report referred to printed, and it will be issued at an early date. The latter part of the question is best answered by the Report itself.
§ Mr. O'SHAUGHNESSY
I wish to ask a question, of which I have given private notice to the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland), namely: Whether, having regard to the fact that there has been no case of foot-and-mouth disease in the county of Limerick, and that the restrictions in the county have been removed, the Department will be good enough to enable the fair to be held at Rathkeale on Monday next, 6th April?